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. president obama as reported is in his native hawaii. before leaving washington, president obama urged congress to pass a mini plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. brianna keilar joins us live from hawaii. what do we think will happen as the holiday week rolls out? >> reporter: well, and don, we should probably say where our senate majority leader harry reid and senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, because now all eyes turn to the senate. they're set to come back to town on the 27th. that is thursday. and at this point there are a number of options for some sort of bill that senate majority leader harry reid could put on the floor, but right now it appears democrats in the white house are pushing for something that still concentrates on making sure that income tax rates for those making a quarter million dollars or less don't go up. that said, it's really hard to see how at that rate senator mcconnell might allow some republican senators to support it or that some republican senators would even want to jump on board with that and even harder to see how a
on exactly some recommendations for congress to move forward on. but we know that president obama has urged congress and will continue to do so in the new year to pass an assault weapons ban. to pass a ban on high capacity ammunition clips and to close the gun show loophole so all gun purchasers are suggest to background checks and he also wants to address the mental health issue. >> thank you. appreciate it. >>> if you were watching, the nfl playoffs are set. joe carter is here to tell us who is in and who is out. sunday was exciting. >> thank you. good morning. it was an emotional year, emotional day in indianapolis. head coach chuck pagano back on the sidelines. he's been out since september after being diagnosed with leukemia. arian foster tapping the chuck strong banner after scoring a touchdown. they finished the regular season 11-5. that's nine more wins than last year. it's the second greatest turn around in nfl history. as you can imagine, they were celebrating in the locker room after the game and why not? this is one of the best fell good stories in the nfl season. look at chuck
, the democratic senator from iowa saying this deal doesn't look good to him. if a deal is reached in congress, the president still has to sign it. president obama set his terms and challenged the house and senate to get it it done. brianna keilar joins me now. is the president just sitting in the oval office waiting for a bill to get delivered to him? where's he in all of this? >> reporter: vice president biden is very much the president's proxy in all of this. it's easy to understand why. both the president and vice president served in the senate, but biden served in the senate for decades with all of the players that he now has to engage with. he knows the personalities. he knows the rhythms of the senate and of congress better than president obama, you could argue. it makes sense that he's serving as the president's proxy. this is something the president is engaged with. this is something the white house is very engaged with. he said yesterday he's optimistic that a deal can be struck. i think that's not surprising. that's what you'd expect to come from president obama. but we're also -- w
, president obama today called for congress to at least extend middle class tax cuts and unemployment benefits if no fiscal deal is reached. tax hike increase take effect january 1st. >>> the situation in the war-torn country is getting worse by the day. this weekend is proving him right. opposition activists say at least 397 people were killed across syria yesterday alone. if true, the deadliest day yet in almost two years in the civil war. the opizatiposition says more t 200 killed following a battle. >>> new england is getting a heavy dose of snow and freezing temperatures. boston is expected to get up to eight inches and the city's mayor has declared a snow emergency. neighboring rhode island is also getting pounded over a foot of snow has already fallen in some parts of that state. >>> some good news this morning about former president george h.w. bush. we're told he is improving and has been moved out of the intensive care unit of the houston hospital where he was being treated for an elevated fever. the 41st president has been in the hospital for more than a month now. >>> those are you
think the expectation at this point is that with congress returning, president obama is likely to go back to washington to oversee things as they move. or as the fiscal cliff comes nearer and the u.s. goes over it. >> can we expect any other lawmakers to step up to the plate and kick start negotiations? what about senate minority leader mitch mcconnell? >> well, the thing at this point and i'm told by sources is that there are no negotiations going on between senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, and senator majority leader harry reid in hawaii for the funeral of daniel inouye and is now back to washington. it could come down to the senate doing something. senator mcconnell might allow this bill i mentioned that i already passed in july, was a threshold for tax hikes, being at the $250,000 level, he may allow democrats to say, the house has to take this, or if there is some sort of vote on another measure, while mitch mcconnell would be unlikely to support it, perhaps he might let some of his republican senators do that, now, this is sort of thinking, coming f
into effect. today president obama called on congress to agree on a compromise plan to protect the middle class. >>> the woman who went to prison for murdering the scarsdale diet doctor in 1990 has herself died. jean harris was 89. she was the doctor's longtime lover. he developed the famous fad, the diet in the 1980s, and harris said she found him treated on her and tried to commit suicide in front of him. they wrestled over a gun and he was shot. >>> former president george h.w. bush is getting better. he is reportedly singing with doctors and nurses in the houston hospital where he is at, although he is still in the intensive care unit. the senior bush has been in the hospital now for more than a month, but his family says that they are confident that he'll be out or released soon. >>> a cancer diagnosis didn't stop one man. in fact, at 79, it is spurring him on to achieve new goal as a marathon runner. >>> plus, no more nudity in san francisco. at least not in public. it is one of the most outrageous lawsuits of the year. and of course our legal guy will weigh in. announcer ] what if
from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing america to go over the fiscal cliff even more. okay. option three. that's the red box. that's one where america goes over the fiscal cliff. jessica yellin is cnn's chief white house correspondent. peer into the crystal ball for us, jessica. which of these scenarios is most likely? >> well, ali, i think that after yesterday it's slightly more likely that there will be some sort of agreement. that doesn't mean that there are a whole bunch of optimists running around d.c. saying it's going to get resolved. but what you describe sod well as a moment of spiritual clarity yesterday really did lead some to think that senators reid and mcconnell have done this before. they are two experts at getting together and crafting something that resolves things at the 11th hour. and if any two men with can do it, it is these two men. right no
and congress to make a deal and avoid those automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. obama met with top leaders from the both sides of the aisle in a rare meeting that lasted over an hour. afterward, he spoke about the importance of the deal for the u.s.'s still recovering economy. >> economists, business leaders, all think we're poised to grow in 2013. as long as politics in washington don't get in the way of america's progress. so we've got to get this done. >> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell also spoke after their meeting expressing home that the weekend would bring a deal. >> we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. and we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> we're watching that story closely. >>> protesters demanding justice for the young woman who has died now after she was brutally beaten and gang raped on a bus
. it forces members of congress and president obama to spend the last few days of 2012 on the job. we want to bring in cnn chief white house correspondent, jessica yelen, we all know they would rather celebrate new year's eve elsewhere. how did they get here? >> reporter: it is such a good question, you know, candy, this grid lock in washington creates the eye-rolling. but the fundamental question goes to the essential differences between the two parties about the role of government, should it be bigger or smaller? about whether we want lower taxes or more of a social safety net. so while we have seen the principles, the president, speaker boehner, and now senator mcconnell and reid trying to get involved in stages in the last few weeks, it has always broken down because they fundamentally disagree about the big ideas over the core of this debate. they're fighting between the two parties. and this could get resolved in a matter of days or weeks. but the big difference, the issues could really take months to work out. >> can it be resolved in the matter of few enough days that they meet tha
obama, but it's very much up to congress to do something here going into the new year. as of right now, this may surprise you, but there are basically no discussions going on. the white house, senate democrats, they are not in discussion with how republicans and senate republicans in any substantive way. that may seem troubling to you because in order to work out some sort of deal to make it through congress, all parties need to agree to something. but as of right now, they are not talking. all eyes now turning to the senate, which will reckoconvene thursday. harry reid has the task of trying to cobble something together that can get some republican support in the senate and also get some republican support in the house and make it through congress. that's a difficult task. the white house saying they want the threshold for income tax rates expiring to be $250,000 and above. they are back to their initial negotiating position. and so between that and the lack of discussions going on, you sort of understand why you're hearing from democrats and republicans this pessimism about going ove
that milestone, the current congress needs to send nearly 100 bills to president obama's desk in the next few days. >> that lack of productivity isn't hurting paychecks on capitol hill. even as tax hikes and an unend to unemployment benefits for 2 million people could be on the way because of the fiscal cliff. congress, it's about to get a raise. it's part of an executive order that president obama issued which ends a pay freeze for federal workers. so salaries will go up by .5% after march 27th. that's an extra $900 before taxes. currently members of congress make $174,000 a year except for leaders who make a little more. the last time lawmakers got a pay raise was in 2009. >>> this morning, i want to tell you about the fact that we know the name of a man pushed to his death at a new york city subway station now. he's identified as 46-year-old dusend. a sketch of the suspect. she's described as a heavy set woman in her 20s who was wearing a ski jacket and sneakers. poppy harlow has more on the investigation for us. >> it was horrible. >> reporter: this man says he heard the final scream of t
to avoid the fiscal cliff. it is unclear if any can get enough votes to pass conference. -- congress. president obama says he's optimistic a compromise can be found. >>> across india today, a nationwide protest took a new heartbreaking direction. people across the country were already out in angry droves calling for justice in the wake of a brutal gang rape. then word today began to spread that the victim died in the hospital. a 23-year-old woman. six men were already held on rape charges. now they're charged with murder. >>> chuck hagel's name has been floated as president obama's potential choice for the next defense secretary. but some don't want to see the former republican senator and vietnam war vet get the position. some from his own party. this ad is in "the new york times" right here. and it says, hagel is wrong on gay rights, wrong on iran, wrong on israel. and the ad was placed by the law of cabin republicans, a group that represents gay republicans. clarke cooper is executive director. thanks for joining me, clarke. here's that ad. this ad speaks volumes. wouldn't your pa
in ten year's time. >> both houses of congress have passed tax relief that will protect the middle class. >> when it came time for the cuts to expire, the u.s. was emerging from the worst recession since the great depression. so president obama agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years in exchange for congress extending federal emergency unemployment benefits. those cuts are expensive. if they are extended by 2020, the bush era tax cuts will be responsible for more than half the total national debt. democrats insist that taxes go up for the wealthy but stay in place permanently for those earning less than $250,000 a year. >> we need to stop the job killing tax hikes and we need to start cutting spending now. >> republicans refuse to play ball. they say no higher rates on the rich, no tax hikes on anyone. based on an ideology that calls on government to be as small as possible. its roots are as old as american politics, but the philosophies main spokesman is this man, grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform. his pledge signed by almost all republicans in congress for
obama and congress, along with cappuccinos and lattes. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room." >>> on this day after christmas, extreme weather is making travel slow, difficult, and dangerous for millions of americans. severe storms are moving toward the east coast right now, packing snow and threatening tornadoes. the kind of blizzard conditions that hit the midwest are moving into new england. the region could get more than a foot of snow tonight and tomorrow. in the south, a storm that unleashed tornadoes is heading into the carolinas and northern florida. at least three deaths are being blamed on the severe weather. cnn's holly firfer is at the busiest airport in atlanta. >> reporter: it's a tough day to travel. as that storm heads through the northeast, it's making it hard to travel by road and in the air. >> reporter: snow, ice, and high winds. >> we want to get out. >> it's always scary when you're flying, that you're going to be stuck in the airport. >> reporter: a massive storm that left many in the midwest and parts of the south with a whit
, president obama will not send legislation to congress today that might avert the so-called fiscal cliff. the president pulled the plug on his holiday trip to hawaii and arrived in washington shortly after 11:00 in hopes of prodding congress to lock in taxes for all but the wealthiest 2%. so a republican source told us he would be sending legislation to capitol hill, but the white house is telling us no, that is not the case. you have the president there at the white house. you have the senate in session and they are scattered throughout the country and taxes are going up on january 1st. let's listen to harry reid. he is not happy about the house and being away. he is the top senate democrat. >> we are here in washington working. we have the house of representatives out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> here's a reality. reid said it's beginning to look to him as though we will plunge over the cliff come tuesday. they are keeping an eye on washington to see what develops. since it looks as though we a
obama say he's modestly optimistic that a last-minute deal can be reached with members of congress before america goes over the fiscal cliff four days from now. he's warning that no one will get everything they want, but he says that shouldn't stand in the way of reaching an agreement. >> we're now at the last minute. the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy, not right now. >> we are joined by former labor secretary robert reich, the author of "beyond outrage." i wish we had more time. i'd ask you all about how to fix it. but let's focus on this one part, secretary reich. you listened to the president. what did you hear? >> candy, i heard basically washington boilerplate, keep our fingers crossed, this is going to be a hail mary, but i have no idea how this is going to come out. >> when you hear him say, i've asked for an up-or-down vote, do you hear, there's a possibility or do you hear, uh-oh, this is a guy looking to position himself for after we go over the fiscal cliff? >> well, undoubtedly the president wants
, president obama sign the executive order that gives executive worker as a pay raise. won wonders whether congress has earned their raise. grover and i have never agreed on anything rat all except the fact that congressmen shouldn't have had a raise on thursday. good morning, goo to see again. >> good morning. >> you continue to engage in the conversation which i always appreciate. let me ask you this, you don't want taxes going up on anyone. but when things looked like they were aat an impasse and house speaker john boehner, the highest elected in the country. put forward his plan b about a week ago, you read it through, and you said you would be okay with people who had signed this anti tax pledge of yours voting for that bill. voting for an increase of taxes. and you will phrase it differently. voting for something that will allow taxes to go up for those that make more than $1 million a year. that seems like a sea change. why did you agree to that? >> it wasn't a sea change. this is a written commitment by many congressmen and senators, governors, state legislators, that they'll oppos
moment for the united states economy, if president obama and the congress can't agree on a deal to keep the country from plunging over that fiscal cliff. here's what both sides are considering in a potential deal right now. an increase in tax rates for families making over $450,000 a year. extending unemployment benefits. and an increase in the estate tax. the president seemed hopeful but cautious when he addressed the american people earlier today. >> today, it appears that an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike is within sight. but it's not done. there are still issues left to resolve. but we're hopeful that congress can get it done. but it's not done. >> let's get straight to our chief white house correspondent jessi jessica yellin. she's over at the white house with the very latest. the president seems pretty optimistic that it's within a few hours we could have a deal, right? >> reporter: wolf, the people i just spoke to here say they are no more or less optimistic than they were this morning. which is to say they are not cueing the confetti just yet. senator mitch mcconn
of the budgetary wars that president obama chose to go on a sunday talk show. >> he is doing this interview why congress is trying to do it. very critical of congress and i think this interview wasn't exactly combative. he challenged him on it. >> who challenged who? >> david gregory challenged obama on some points but made $1 trillion in cuts, he also vowed to cut the deficit in half in 2009. that has not happened. >> compared david gregory we saw at the top of the show waving that magazine at wain lapierre. this was a low-key interview. >> meek and weak. i didn't find david gregory, i think he lost his punch over this short-lived vacation. a number of points he didn't press the president hard enough. >> the president gave short answers. >> but there's really no excuse. >> the pomp and the ceremony. on the other hand, and you've had experience covering barack obama going back to chicago, it can be hard to interrupt during an incumbent president during an interview. >> it is. obama had the home court advantage. david had it in that more aggressive interview and now, l i'll say this quickly. wa
-racking for millions. president obama said a deal was in sight, but he slammed congress for stalling and for failing to reach a broader agreement. sources say the senate will try to vote tonight. we're not going to have a house vote tonight because the house has already adjourned until tomorrow, noon eastern time, which means we will not be able to solve this problem fully tonight if it gets solved at all. that's still not entirely clear. let's go to jessica yellin. if you've been watching over the last several hours, you get conflicting information. is there a deal or not? >> the white house is optimistic there will be a deal. republicans in the senate are confident there will be a deal. senate democrats are still holding out for more changes in this deal. and so right now, there's still that last haggling over certain sticking points that democrats want to see in this negotiation. and it's one of the reasons we understand that vice president biden is set to go up there. now, that's once the deal is done and sealed. the reason the vice president would go up there, it's to sort of sell the deal, bas
's "meet the press." mr. obama is expected to call for an immediate vote by congress on a scaled-back plan that would only extend middle class tax breaks and unemployment benefits if the congressional negotiations fail. >>> fears over the fiscal cliff are weighing heavily on u.s. stocks, which posted five straight days of losses. the dow had a triple-digit loss on friday. the nasdaq and s&p 500 entered the day and week in the red. i spoke with one wall street trader about mow a deal could help the markets get back in the green. >> listen, if we get a deal and we get a deal that's substantive and realistic and that the market believes, i think the market will rally back and certainly rally back to the 1425, 1440 level. they won't go back it to 1475 unless they pull the complete rabbit out of the hat. i don't think that will happen. the market will certainly rally. you can feel it. every time one comes out and is optimistic, you see the market try to take back some of the losses because it wants a settlement and a resolution. the fact is it's not getting it. the market will vote with its fee
. >> if the house decides to take up the bill today, the full congress could vote on it tonight. >>> president barack obama said he was optimistic that a deal on the fiscal cliff could be reached. that might have been a mistake. ahead, more on the fiscal cliff and the dwindling hope that a deal can be reached. it's all part of our special coverage of the fiscal cliff crisis with me and ali velshi. ...but he'd wait for her forever, for any reason, and would always be there with the biggest welcome home. for a love this strong, dawn only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein. ...to help keep rocky's body as strong as a love that never fades... if he ever lets her leave again. iams. keep love strong. constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. ...so as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very
rubeio. 51% for former florida governor jeb bush. president obama plans to submit gun control legislation to congress in 2013. that will deal with assault weapons specifically, as well as background checks on gun sales. as you might realize, it's spurred on by the school massacre in newtown, connecticut, killed 20 children and 6 adults. murdered his mother and killed himself. speaking yesterday on "meet the press," the president says something has to fundamentally change in this country. that newtown shootings cannot feel like what he called a routine episode. >> that was the worst day of my presidency, and it's not something that i want to see repeated. >> vice president joe biden is leading a task force that will submit legislative proposals to the president in january. >>> also, happy new year, new zealand. auckland. and the start of 2013 with the fireworks display from sky tower, tallest free standing structure in the southern hemisphere. >> and as auckland rings in the new year, preparation under way in times square. heart of new york city, coming up next. >> and more from washington
soon. but six days before the fiscal cliff, president obama cutting short his christmas vacation on the off chance he and congress might be able to cut some kind of deal. he left. but brianna keilar is still there in honolulu. when's the president leaving and why does he really expect to avoid the cliff? >> reporter: i will be leaving as well when the president leaves, don. he is expected. he will be leaving tonight. that's local time. so he'll be traveling overnight and arriving back in the d.c. area late thursday morning. as you know, the senate reconvenes tomorrow. so he'll be going back as that is happening. we heard from him last week as he was heading out to hawaii. he said, see you next week. we had a thought that this was probably going to happen. he is officially now going back. he said last week, don, that he is still optimistic that something can get done. the other issue here, though, is you can imagine, how bad it would look if he go over the cliff and there's a lot of work to make sure that doesn't happen. he's here in hawaii on vacation. that would look terrible fo
to avoid the distinction, congress needs to submit about 100 bills to president obama in the next few days. >>> that lack of productivity isn't hurting paychecks on capitol hill. even as tax hikes and an end to unemployment benefits for two million people could be on the way because of the fiscal cliff, congress, though, hey, about to get a raise. part of an executive order that president obama issued which ends a pay freeze for federal workers. their salaries, yeah, they'll if up by half a percent after march 27. that's an extra $900 before taxes. currently members of congress make $174,000 a year except for leaders who make a little more. the last time there was a pay raise was 2009. >>> there is one thing the senate has agreed on, getting aid to victims of superstorm sandy. by a 61-33 vote the chamber passed a measure offering $60 billion in help. it heads to the house which must approve the bill by thursday or else the process to consider the money has to start all over again. at least 113 people were killed when superstorm sandy hit in late october. the governors of new york and new j
to an agreement with president obama. that we're talking about a short fix relative to a new congress dealing with the complexity and a comprehensive package of long-term, of fiscal policy in this country. that's what many of us have asked for, that everything has been to be on the table. that it has to be an honest and open discussion. >> you just said that everything should be on the table. the president has made this clear. he said that everyone needs to give a little bit to reach the grand bargain. and a new gallup poll says that 68% of americans want congress, that's you, to compromise. to come up with a solution. only 22% say stick to your principles. now, you spoke out against the president's first off, saying it looked like he was offering a cut to social security, but if his next offer looks the same and that's the only way to come together, would you support it? >> honestly, the support and many of us, including myself, are disappointed that cutting social security benefits was part of the grand bargain. it became kind of like a symbolic issue, the republican in the house needed to
in congress. 37% blame -- would blame president obama and 11% blame both. so there's a political reality to the fact that the gop is stuck between a rock and a hard place. they'll get blamed if it happens and they'll get blamed if they vote for anything that looks like a tax increase. >> listen, the republican party gets blamed if it's sunny outside. so i'm not really worried about that and neither should people be. but you bring up the point, this should not be above who suffers in the polls. this should be about fixing the united states of america and, you know what, people need to be willing to take a vote even if it means they don't come back. >> yeah, well that's the problem, right? you and i talked about this before. we're in constant campaign mode. a compromise would require that both parties, all parties involved actually pay some price, that it costs somebody something. what is the specific problem, though, on the republican side in terms of the lack of compromise? again, i want to show you the same poll that we did on december 17th and 18th asking about whether the republican p
. that could happen when the senate convenes a rare sunday session of congress. looking to dominate his side of the story while leaders wrangle on the details, president obama made his first sunday show appearance in three years, sitting down with nbc's david gregory this morning to talk about the fiscal cliff. >> i'm arguing for maintaining tax cuts for 98% of americans. i don't think anybody would consider that some liberal left wing agenda. that used to be considered a republican mainstream agenda. >> joining me senator olympia sn snowe of maine. let me start with that. it does seem sort of counter intuitive to have republicans wanting to fight for tax hikes for no one and in that fight, being willing to allow tax hikes for everyone? >> you know, i would agree with that. obviously it is important to make sure that middle income america does not confront a tax increase at the beginning of next year, which is less than two days away. that is critical. the second part is, of course, is trying to address the spending cuts that are going to be crucial next year as well. more for the long-term
almost 90% of votes from whites, and president obama won over 40% from nonwhites. look at the states on issues like gay marriage or the obama health care plan. blue and red states leading you in very different directions. and you get to congress. the vast majority of leaders are voted in by those who are divided. have you two cohessive coalitions. it's harder to bridge them what is the alternative? we're all here, none of us are going away. we'll find ways to work together or find more self-inflicted wounds like the fiscal cliff. >> the idea, republicans and this is the idea that has been floated, will let us go off the cliff sor they or certain members won't have to raise taxes. >> they will cut taxes retroactive retroactively. >> seems like a bad way to go. >> look, this was a machine built to encourage compromise. and it may get easier for some republicans to come back in january if we go over the cliff. the reason, of course, all the bush tax cuts expire with the cliff, when you come back, you would only be voting to cut taxes on some force of the public, up to a certain income l
. also, president obama comes back from hawaii for the year's final showdown with congress. >>> and syria's government unleashes its most sophisticated weapons of the war. missiles from iran. we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm candy crowley and you're in "the situation room." >>> i want to begin with a crisis you probably don't know is coming and, of course, is just about to hit. barring a last minute deal, union dock workers at more than a dozen major ports will go on strike this weekend. meaning just about everything we buy, from clothes to cars, can't be unloaded. the strike would impact 14 port along the eastern seaboard in gulf coast, including the port of baltimore and that's where we find cnn's brian todd live. the potential impact of this is pretty big. >> reporter: it's huge, candy. right here, this is one of the most crucial ports for commerce in this region. the sieger terminal. you can see massive container ships sitting in port. this is the port terminal with the bustling operations, containers still
in a sobering reali reality. we're talking about the major tax hikes for almost every one of us if congress does not reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff. president obama is now scheduled to make a statement about the negotiations. that's going to take place about 1:30 or so, in less than 30 minutes. we'll bring it to you live at the white house as soon as it happens. we want to talk about what is going on behind the scenes. you have negotiations led by the vice president and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. sources are telling us they are making some progress, but here's the catch. if a deal is reached, there is no guarantee it's going to pass. here's what democratic senator tom harkin said on the senate floor earlier this morning. >> if we're going to have some kind of a deal, the deal must be one that really does favor the middle class. the real middle class. those that are making 30,000, 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 a year. that's the real middle class in america. and as i see this thing developing, quite frankly, as i've said before, no deal is better than a bad deal, and this looks like
because the senate is going to be reconvening on thursday. anything that gets through congress would need to pass the senate and house with both democratic and republican support. we're also expecting that president obama will likely return to washington, d.c. at this point it seems more a matter of when and not really matter of if. and then right now the plan that the white house is trying to push forward is to deal with the tax hikes for those earning $250,000 or less. it appears those spending cuts that are the other part of the fiscal cliff will likely set in. and then what happens there will maybe be something that democrats and republicans try to deal with in the coming weeks, in the coming months. that means even come say the end of the year here or if we go over the cliff and there's some quick resolution, it's not for everything and we'll be dealing with a lot of these problems for some time, carol. >> what's the president doing in hawaii? >> reporter: the president has been getting in some r and r. he arrived saturday morning. he played golf with some of his buddies. he wept out
this kind of horrific tragedy from ever occurring in the future? >> okay. >> i applaud president obama and his -- and vice president biden. we offer our expertise. we will work with the congress. i have some experience here. i am the guy that negotiated the child safety lock arrangement with bill clinton. there are things we can do and do now rather than debate endlessly over the things that divide us instead of moving forward on the many things that we're already in agreement on. >> you were -- when you worked for the nra, you were its political director. >> regional political director. >> regardless, you knew a lot about its clout in politics. do you in all candor think that the nra has the kind of clout it did back in the '90s when were you involved in those really high-proo file debates, for like safety locks, assault bans and so on. >> when i did the chaft safety lo locks, i was representing the nra. it's not about clout. what the nra does so well is organize and motivate their people to get out in elections. arguing against what they do, you are arguing against democracy. we're i
the country's financial problems, president obama and kocongressional leade will meet this afternoon to hopefully avoid the fiscal cliff. one man in texas is not waiting for congress to act. he is doing his part to fix the country's finances and send a message as well. kyung lah has the story. >> reporter: in his unheated garage, 85-year-old garcia is working to fix the fiscal cliff. one can at a time. how much money have you sent the government? >> a little bit over $3,000. >> reporter: $3,197.88, to be exact. all tracked on a handwritten ledger. over the last three years, garcia has been paying the government $50 a month of his postal service pension and money from cans he collects. >> we're paying absolutely too much interest, too much interest. >> reporter: it really bothers you. >> it bothers me because it makes no sense. >> reporter: sense is something garcia's wife of 59 years thinks her husband could use. do you think he's crazy? [ speaking spanish ] >> uh-huh. >> reporter: call him crazy, but there's an entire federal office of bureau of public debt that collects money like
is trying to cram through a scaled back version of the obama cliff plan from almost week. the house is still out. after the gop went into recess last week after the gop didn't have enough support to pass its own plan "b." congress has very little time, though, five days to be exact to come up with some kind of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. it may already be too late with the way things work on capitol hill. let's bring in jonathan allen, the senior washington kpon for politico. jonathan, let's get to that. i think if everything lines up they could possibly get a deal signed from the fiscal cliff but when does that ever happen? >> yes, i think the problem, drew, there isn't that much time when congress has a consensus they can move quickly but there's no indication of that right now. all of the players seem locked into their strategies. for folks familiar with economic theory, this is a nash equilibrium. they believe given what the other folks are doing their pursuing their optimal path and that path seems to be leading us toward that fiscal cliff. i think most folks in washington expect
? ♪ ♪ na na na na na na na na ♪ and everybody go uh! >>> we told you last hour president obama is spending his last few hours in hawaii before returng early to washington. he's expected to arrive tomorrow, just five days ahead of the fiscal cliff, which includes an across the board tax hike that congress has tried but failed to undo. cnn's dana bash is with us from washington, our senior congressional correspondent. we spoke last hour. you told us that hour speaker john boehner was to convene this conference call to decide whether or not to call the house back into session. we know the senate is supposed to convene, but nothing can, of course, take place until the house is in session as well. do we know the results of that conference call? will boehner reconvene the house? >> reporter: i'm told by a source familiar with the call, which just happened within last hour, as you said, that no decision was made on the schedule or timing for the house. as we talked about an hour ago, the leaders in the house have promised the members that they won't be called back without 48 hours notice. so at t
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